Sodium chloride for dyeing fabrics is being used in the country to colour foods.
The use of non-food grade chemical to add colours to food items poses serious threat to public health.
The use of non-food grade chemicals is used to add colours to foods as they are much cheaper compared to the food grade colours, experts told New Age.
They said that food caterers use the non-food grade chemicals to add colours to food illegally only to maximize their profits.
They said that the illegal practice was occurring due to the government agencies failure to enforce the law and monitor the food outlets.
Dhaka University Institute of Nutrition and Food Science professor Khaleda Islam said that colouring foods with edible sodium chloride ‘causes no harm to human health.
But coloring foods with textile sodium chloride, also called industrial sodium chloride would seriously affect consumers’ health.
She said that edible sodium chloride is made of food ingredients while textile sodium chloride is made of harmful chemicals.
She said that consumption of food coloured with textile sodium chloride would damage liver and kidney besides causing ulcer and allergies.
Recently, mobile courts run by RAB realized fines from a restaurant and a sweetmeat shop in the capital for using textile sodium chloride for colouring food.
RAB executive magistrate Sarwar Alam said that during several drives he found the use of harmful textile couours to add colours to pulao, zarda and other foods.
On Wednesday, RAB mobile court fined Dawar-E-Mejban, a restaurant at Dhanmondi Tk four lakh for using harmful chemicals to colour foods.
Bangladesh Food Safety Authority chairman Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque said it was illegal to color foods with fabric colours.
National Consumers’ Rights Protection department’s director Syed Tawhidur Rahman said that the drives against adulteration of foods would continue.
Restaurant owners said that food grade colours were not available at local markets as merchants’ syndicate control the total business.
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